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JOEGA Nov 24, 2009 12:20 PM

lens confusion
:confused:I was at a Cheer Off this weekend where cheerleader perform on a stage under various lighting. One of the official photographers uses a Cannon, I believe he said 1D, with a lens as long as my are (!). I think he said a 200mm f 1.8.

My goal is to take similar photographs with a Cannon EOS-7D, and am wondering if this or another lens might work. I won't have his advantage of being right on the corner of the stage, but I will most likely be within 30 feet. In some cases, the studio audience is under dim or no lights, but in a few, the house lights remain on.

Any thoughts?

JimC Nov 24, 2009 12:49 PM

I'm going to move your post down to our Canon Lenses Forum, which is setup for discussion about lenses for Canon dSLR models.

With a 7D from that distance, I'd probably go with a Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX II DC HSM lens (making sure to get the latest II version of it). It's around $749 right now at reputable vendors.

JohnG Nov 24, 2009 1:05 PM


The 200mm 1.8 is no longer made. There is, however, a newer 200mm 2.0. It can be yours for the paltry sum of $6,000. And yes, that lens will take excellent photos.

The lens Jim recommended has gotten some decent reviews. But I honestly have NOT seen any actual sports photos with the lens. I would suspect it should do OK for your needs - PROVIDED lighting is good enough for f2.8. That's a big IF. Another option is the 100mm f2.0. That lens is good for about 30 feet of coverage and produces good results.

As to lighting - it doesn't matter at all what the lighting is like in the audience - only on the stage.

You should also be aware that the types of shots you can get will be limited. You won't have much depth-of-field so group shots are more problematic than individual shots.

TCav Nov 24, 2009 1:27 PM

The 1D that the pro was using has an APS-H size image sensor. Because it's smaller than a 35mm film exposure, it has a 1.3X crop factor. That would give the 200mm lens an ange of view equivalent to a 260mm lens on a film SLR.

You have a 7D, which uses a smaller APS-C size image sensor, so it has a crop factor of 1.6X. That means a 162.5mmm lens on your 7D would have the same angle of view as the 200mm lens on the pro's 1D.

Nobody makes a 162.5mm lens (Horror of horrors!) but Canon does make a 135mm f/2L USM ($1,070 at that would give you roughly the same view as the pro had. And it costs less than the Canon 200mm f/2L IS USM that JohnG mentioned.

JimC Nov 24, 2009 1:29 PM


The lens Jim recommended has gotten some decent reviews. But I honestly have NOT seen any actual sports photos with the lens.
Here you go (Canon 7D/Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 combo at ISO 5000 from a new 7D owner). Gary also used a Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 lens for basketball with a Sony A700.

JOEGA Nov 25, 2009 11:10 AM

Thanks everybody for the help. Have a good holiday and I will be out of here till next week. Might drop in on the weekend, but I expect a lot of "honey-dos" to keep me busy preparing for Christmas.

Again, thanks for everything!

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